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Proposed partnership watched with interest

1 July 2008 Media Statement

Proposed partnership watched with interest

Agriculture Minister Jim Anderton said today that yesterday's announcement of the proposed partnership between Silver Fern Farms and PGG Wrightson is a commercial proposition that he will watch with interest.

"New Zealand meat has a bright future as global food supplies shorten and consumers in emerging Asian countries become more affluent and demand more protein but we need to be well organised to reap the benefits.

"I have encouraged the industry to work together to deliver the best possible solution, and it is up to industry and their shareholders as to what commercial arrangements are put in place."

Jim Anderton said the intention of creating an integrated supply chain that reaches from the paddock to the plate steps away from the current procurement model.

"From the limited amount of material that I have seen to-date, it seems clear that the proposed partnership is based on a strategy that includes greater investment in research and market development and a more integrated and coordinated approach.

"Optimistically, this move could become the catalyst for further industry cooperation. If these two parties can demonstrate success, I am sure other industry participants will be encouraged to further develop enhanced business models."

He said whether the proposal proceeds will be for the shareholders of Silver Fern Farms to decide.

"Individual shareholders will consider the proposal carefully before they vote in September - the move away from full farmer ownership in return for a substantial injection of capital will I am sure be an important factor to be weighed up. Any deal would have to make commercial sense to the majority of shareholders.

"I will watch future developments with interest, as well as support and help implement outcomes wherever possible."

ENDS


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